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master recipe: pâte à choux dough

Recipe by
Andy Anderson !
Wichita, KS

This is a master recipe on making one of the cornerstones of French baking: pâte à choux dough [paht ah shoo]. Once you master this dough, you will be able to make all kinds of sweet and savory items. Pâte à choux is a mixture of simple ingredients: flour, water, milk, eggs, but the proper technique is essential. And unlike other pastry dough, this one is pre-cooked on the stovetop. When you take them out of the oven, they are so light, you're going to think that they'll float off the baking sheet. So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

yield serving(s)
prep time 25 Min
cook time 20 Min
method Bake

Ingredients For master recipe: pâte à choux dough

  • 8 Tbsp
    sweet butter, unsalted
  • 1 c
    filtered water
  • 1/2 tsp
    salt, kosher variety, fine grind
  • 1 c
    flour, all-purpose variety
  • 4 lg

How To Make master recipe: pâte à choux dough

  • 1
  • 2
    Gather your ingredients.
  • 3
    Place the butter, and the water into a saucepan, over medium heat.
  • 4
    When the butter is melted and the liquid is simmering, add the salt, and stir to combine.
  • 5
    Dump in the flour all at once, and begin stirring, using a wooden spoon.
  • 6
    Chef’s Note: You’ll be doing a lot of stirring.
  • 7
    Continue to stir, making sure you incorporate all of the flour into the liquid.
  • 8
    Keep stirring until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the saucepan, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • 9
    Continue to cook and stir for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
  • 10
    Chef’s Tip: Start stirring gently until the liquid and the flour are incorporated. Then get more vigorous and slap the dough against the sides of the pan. Eventually, the dough will pull away from the sides, and leave a film on the bottom of the pan. When that happens… you can stop stirring, and remove the pan from the heat.
  • 11
    Remove the dough from the pan, and place into a stand mixer bowl, fitted with a paddle attachment, and allow the dough to cool for 5 to 7 minutes.
  • 12
    Chef’s Note: You could perform the next steps by mixing with a wooden spoon; however, life’s too short for that, and I’ve done enough stirring for one day.
  • 13
    Put the stand mixer on slow speed and add the eggs, one at a time.
  • 14
    Chef’s Tip: Allow each egg to fully incorporate into the dough before adding next.
  • 15
    At the end of the process, the dough should look nice and creamy.
  • 16
  • 17
    Place a rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 425f (220c).
  • 18
    Place heaping tablespoons of the mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and separate each ball by 1 inch (2.5cm).
  • 19
    Chef’s Note: I prefer to use a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
  • 20
    Place into the preheated oven, and bake for 20 minutes.
  • 21
    Reduce heat to 375f (190c), and continue to bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the pâte à choux are nice and golden.
  • 22
  • 23
    Dust with some powdered sugar, and serve while still nice and warm. Enjoy.
  • 24
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

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